Season’s heaviest rain shuts underpass at Rajiv Chowk
The unidirectional Rajiv Chowk underpass was closed on Tuesday evening after water accumulated inside it following the heaviest downpour of the season.
According to officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the unidirectional underpass was closed around 6.15pm after rainwater from CH Bakhtawar Singh Road entered it from the entry as well as from Rajiv Chowk on the other side.
The 708-metre underpass allows commuters travelling from Bakhtawar Chowk to head directly towards Delhi and bypass the congested Rajiv Chowk.
“Rainwater has accumulated inside the underpass from both sides. There was little we could do as the rainfall was extremely heavy and that too, for a short period. The motor pumps have been running continuously, and we are just waiting for rainwater to stop flowing inside. Once it stops, it will take us only two hours to reopen the underpass, provided there is no silt deposition,” said Saurabh Singhal, consultant, NHAI.
It is the second underpass to be closed due to waterlogging this month. On August 2, the Iffco Chowk underpass was closed after its surface caved in.
Elsewhere, most arterial roads at Medanta Chowk, sectors 27, 28, 29, 31, 49, 50, Udyog Vihar, Jwala Mill Road, Palam Vihar, Sikanderpur, South City 1-2, Suncity, passport office road, railway road, police lines, Mahavir Chowk, Agrasen Chowk, Civil Lines, Patel Nagar, and Sheetla Mata Mandir road were inundated following the 55-mm rainfall between 4pm and 5pm.
Barring the Narsinhgpur-Khandsa stretch, the main carriageways of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway remained clear of waterlogging and traffic flow was unaffected.
Among the worst-affected areas was the Medanta Chowk, where service lanes of the expressway between Signature Towers and Sector 30 were inundated, with motorists having to steer their vehicles through knee-deep water.
At Medanta Chowk, the waterlogging and closing of the Rajiv Chowk underpass nearby led to snarls. “It took me 25 minutes to cross a stretch that usually takes five minutes. Besides the road, rainwater started overflowing on the footpaths towards the residential and commercial areas as well. I just prayed that my vehicle does not break down. I witnessed three cars breaking down at the junction,” said Vinod Chugh, a resident of Nirvana Country.
Traffic police officials said that they received reports of vehicles breaking down at South City 2, Vatika Chowk, Rajiv Chowk, Medanta Chowk, Sector 30, Signature Towers and Mayfield Gardens.
“We have a protocol in place, as per which traffic police officers are deployed at waterlogging-vulnerable points in advance, whenever there is an overcast. Today (on Tuesday), however, our concentration was on internal roads as they had heavier rainwater accumulation, which was affecting traffic movement. While there was congestion on certain stretches, we ensured that on the whole, traffic kept moving,” said Himanshu Garg, deputy commissioner of police, traffic.
In Sector 28, rainwater also entered people’s houses. “Despite living on the ground floor, water had never entered my house in the past four years. Today, the heavy downpour, along with strong winds, resulted in water entering my home within 10 minutes of rainfall. I used all my carpets and blankets to cover the gap in the doors to prevent more rainwater from entering. After mopping for nearly two hours, the water level finally receded,” said Raunak Sachdeva, a resident of Sector 28.
Amit Khatri, the deputy commissioner and commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), said, “I have directed all public bodies, such as the district administration, GMDA, MCG, NHAI and traffic police, to give an update on the points that experienced heavy waterlogging on Tuesday. This will help us with initiating combative measures, such as placing motor pumps, suction machines and hydra cranes at these points before the next spell of rain,” said Khatri.